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Grant McCann on ‘counter-pressing’, his attacking philosophy and his message to Doncaster Rovers fans

Grant McCann
Grant McCann
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It won’t be dull at Doncaster Rovers this season.

Not if Grant McCann has his way.

On the eve of the new season the 38-year-old has revealed all about his ‘counter-pressing’ style.

The Northern Irishman is determined to make this Doncaster team - who struggled for goals last term - more ruthless.

And if Rovers do lose, he would rather go down 4-3 than 1-0.

“The way we play, we will be pressing high and we will be reacting quickly when we lose the ball,” said McCann, whose side open up at Southend United tomorrow.

“Counter-pressing. Making sure we’ve got players high up the pitch but their first reaction is not to run back towards their goal, their first reaction is to win the ball back.

“Regardless of who we play our identity will stay the same.

“Maybe, once or twice this season, you’ll see the formation change but the identity won’t change.

“The boys are well aware of that. We want to be attacking and we want people to come to the stadium and watch us and travel with us.

“If we get beat, we don’t want to get beat 1-0.

“We’d rather get beat 4-3.

“That is the way I like to set my teams up and the way I like to play.”

Rovers finished 15th in League One last season but McCann is adamant he can get them challenging for promotion.

“Speaking to the group, they felt as if they underachieved last year,” he said.

“I think what we’ve got now, and I’m lucky to have, is a group of players who have sampled the league.

“A lot of the younger group have come into a group in which the fundamentals have been set.

“What Darren and Strachs did here over the last couple of years was brilliant.

“I’ve been lucky enough to come into that.

“I’m lucky enough to build on that and one thing I want to do is make the team more ruthless. whether that’s keeping the ball out of your net or scoring a goal.”

Addressing the Rovers fans directly he added: “Get ready, it’s going to be a rollercoaster season I think.

“There’ll be ups and downs but your support means everything to us.

“Be with us through thick and thin.

“These players will give everything. We want to try and entertain you.”